Memorial for Hawaii's fallen officers nears completion

Memorial for Hawaii's fallen officers nears completion
Published: Apr. 26, 2016 at 9:59 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 27, 2016 at 5:24 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A monument honoring Hawaii's fallen law enforcement officers is almost complete after years of delays.

Once the construction work is done, Hawaii will no longer be the only state without a memorial honoring county, state, and federal officers killed in the line of duty.

Barbara Favela's husband, Honolulu Police Officer Steve Favela, died in 2006 while escorting President George W. Bush's motorcade.

"To see his name there, it means a lot. It means that Hawaii hasn't forgotten him, the police force hasn't forgotten about him, and it will be there for future generations," she said.

The Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation held a groundbreaking ceremony next to the Department of Land and Natural Resources' Kalanimoku Building in 2011. It took organizers more than four years to raise the money needed for the project. Construction finally started in January.

Foundation officials expected HPD to hold its Police Week candlelight service for fallen officers at the memorial next month, but the department decided to keep the ceremony at the State Capitol.

A spokeswoman for HPD said the planning and arrangements started months ago, and there was no guarantee the new monument would be finished in time.

"Maybe a little sad, but I know that maybe in the future now that's it's going to be unveiled and opened we'll be able to maybe have the candlelight ceremony in there, have it there instead," said Favela.

HPD officials have not yet made a decision regarding the venue for next year's service.

Workers are installing plaques bearing the names of Hawaii's 65 fallen officers at the memorial. Each plaque has a QR code which links to a page with more information about the person.

"You get a little more back story so you're not just seeing a name and a number or a date, but you're actually getting to know a little bit more about the individual," explained Freddie Acevedo, a stone craftsman with Honor Life Memorials.

Some lawmakers hope to organize a state-sponsored event at the monument to recognize the heroes from all of the different agencies.

"I think that would be really nice to have some kind of ceremony at the memorial that is inclusive of every law enforcement entity at all three levels of government," said State Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland (D, Kalihi-Nuuanu-Downtown).

The foundation now plans to open the memorial to the public after the Police Week service on May 16. The walk from HPD's Alapai headquarters starts at 6:00 p.m., followed by a ceremony at the State Capitol.

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